Germany charges embargo violators

Two men tried to export equipment for Iranian missile program.

Iran sanctions 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Iran sanctions 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
German federal prosecutors say they have charged two men with violating an arms embargo by working to export equipment that Iran wanted for its missile program.
The federal prosecutor's office said Thursday that 65-year-old German Heinz Ulrich K. was charged with breaking export laws and 52-year-old Iranian Mohsen A. with incitement to break them.
RELATED:US: Swiss-Iran gas deal sends 'wrong message'Despite US pressure, Merkel unlikely to close Iran bankAnalysis: Germany's chance to get serious on sanctions
It said the two men are suspected of having exported a vacuum sintering furnace worth $1.1 million to Iran in July 2007 although that type of equipment had been covered since April 2007 by an arms embargo against Iran.
Prosecutors already had charged Mohsen A. together with a third man, Dr. Behzad S., over the same deal earlier this year but now say the charges have been expanded.
Earlier this week, the German chapter of Stop the Bomb slammed Germany’s government and industry for rewarding “the [Islamic] regime’s rampant terror against the Iranian freedom movement.” It alleged that economic statistics indicated Germany continued to increase its trade in recent months with Iran.
A German TV program reported last week that German factories had made motors for Iranian UAV’s with attack capabilities also capable of reaching Israel.
German weekly Der Spiegel has reported that in June, customs at Frankfurt airport found a delivery of Siemens AG equipment that was headed to Iran. The switches, components and computer modules, manufactured by the German engineering giant, were allegedly headed for Moscow, and from there would be sent to the nuclear reactor at Bushehr, despite EU sanctions on Iran.

Benjamin Weinthal and staff contributed to this report.